Building foundations of care

May 6, 2014

Whether a handful of coins or a million-dollar cheque, your gift matters

Story by Kerri Robins

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them.”
— Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Rick Trimp

Jump ahead 150 years and Thoreau’s sentiment is as relevant now as it was when he said it.

Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) 66 affiliated foundations and health trusts continue building and supporting foundations of quality local health care for Albertans using their strongest assets — Albertans and loyal donors.

And the kudos are well-deserved.

“Alberta’s health care system is unsurpassed and one of the best in Canada,” says Rick Trimp, AHS Interim President and CEO Population Health and Province-Wide Services.

“We have a great health system, but we can’t claim this exceptional quality of health care without recognizing the tremendous work our foundations are doing in our communities and neighbourhoods throughout Alberta.”

And that work by foundations cannot be done without the donations — large and small — by Albertans, whose every gift truly matters.

It’s why provincial foundations are asking Albertans for help in raising key funds that go toward health care in their own communities.

“Collectively raising more than $200 million annually, we’ve seen some amazing work enabled by our foundations,” says Dr. John Cowell, AHS Official Administrator. “From compassionate long-term care for our seniors to groundbreaking pediatric research, the depth of community care people show each other is outstanding.”

He is pleased with the partnership AHS enjoys with foundations and health trusts.

“We have a great future in health care for our province and our foundations contribute to that collective vision that makes it all possible.

“We are changing how our health care system works to ensure that Albertans are getting the right care, in the right place, at the right time no matter where they live in the province,” says Cowell.

“These transformative changes can only occur in conjunction with our partner foundations and the perspective they bring through the eyes of Albertans.”

According to a 2012 Statistics Canada article Charitable Giving by Canadians, Alberta led the way in average donations of $562 per person in 2010.

And, when one looks at the larger picture, Canadians’ donations to health and hospitals totalled more than $2.2 billion that same year.

“Donations come in all sizes,” says Jennifer Wood, Provincial Lead, Foundation Relations, AHS.

“Whether it’s the purchase of a CT scanner for $1.2 million, buckets of coins from school fundraisers, or the gift of time at local charity events, we see people helping people and our foundations facilitate this every day.”

Call your local foundation today to see how you can get involved. For information, visit